Former president of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, on Monday, December 24, Visited the home of his 91-year-old former English language teacher and mentor, Mr. James Popoola, in Ilaro, Yewa South local government, Ogun state.
Mr Popoola taught the former president at the Baptist Boys High School, Abeokuta, in 1950.
A statement by Obasanjo’s media aide, Kehinde Akinyemi, made available to journalists in Abeokuta on Wednesday, said the former President was accompanied on the visit by his classmate and close friend, who is the traditional ruler of Ibara, Oba Jacob Omolade.
The former president engaged his retired teacher with old memories and banters to the admiration of the trio.
One of the teacher’s children, Akin, led the former president and his entourage to the family residence.
Mr Popoola, who was seeing Mr Obasanjo for the first time in decades, said, “I can’t believe it. I am happy today. Very happy. You mean I will host you in my house today, before my death. It was 35 years ago I met you. You are welcome. Oh! I am delighted, very delighted.”
The former president led his elderly host on his wheelchair back into the sitting room, and in excitement said, “We are delighted too Sir. Let us come inside. I am here with Kabiyesi too. You remembered Jacob Omolade, that boy that….”
The former teacher immediately interjected, “Ahhh! Kabiyesi o! Yes, I remember him. The Olubara. I remember everything about Kabiyesi, don’t say it (all burst into laughter), don’t say it, Your Excellency.”
Mr Obasanjo said it has always been his desire to visit “but, for my tight schedule. So, I impressed it on Kabiyesi to let us come during this period. So, when Akin arrived, I sent a message to Kabiyesi that today, we have to break the jinx and to greet you for Xmas.
“We are happy to see you Sir. And I had told Kabiyesi that I am going to remind you of his behaviour in class. Do you remember sir? Mr Obasanjo asked.
The former tutor’s wife, Mojisola Popoola, while contributing said, “Daddy often times remembers all your pranks. He must be very happy receiving you today.”
Pa Popoola thanked the visitors and prayed for their continuous success in life.